A number of passengers using matatus to commute in Nairobi have complained of a surge in incidents of robbery.
Most cases have been reported along the Thika Superhighway and surprisingly, victims have pointed an accusing finger at matatu crew and women.
It is alleged that robbers posing as matatu crew have been stealing valuables from passengers and later forcing them out of the vehicles.
According to a report by Nairobi News, a high school teacher was robbed of her cash and phone earlier this week but she could not remember the vehicle’s registration number.
The robbers mostly get away with mobile phones, laptops, and cash and it is believed that the thugs work closely with drivers and conductors.
One victim who spoke to KDRTV revealed that she was waiting to board a matatu during rush hour when a smartly dressed lady dropped her handbag.
“We were waiting to board a matatu around Roysambu and there was a scrum to get in.
“I was surrounded by smartly dressed women who were also pushing to get in but one of them dropped a handbag right outside the door.
“I decided to pick it up despite being pushed from behind and I handed it to her,” she stated.
Upon getting inside the matatu, she realised that her handbag was open and her purse was missing. The lady was nowhere to be seen.
“I was so shocked when I found my bag open. I realised I had been robbed in the scuffle and another man also stated that his wallet was missing.
“The well-dressed ladies were not in the matatu,” she revealed.
Matatu operators in the area have also warned passengers to be cautious when boarding PSVs as there is a group of smartly dressed women who conduct robberies every day.
An official at Matatu Culture – a body charged with instilling discipline in the matatu industry- told KDRTV that they always report theft cases but police have taken little action.
He admitted that such incidents were on the rise but also urged passengers to remain vigilant and smoke out thugs in matatus.